This is an exceptional and unique tour that is ideal if you're staying in and around Avignon. It captures the essence of Provence from the Romans to the Medieval times begining with a visit to Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct built in the 1st century which at the time was the world's tallest bridge. It brought water to the 20,000 inhabitants of the ancient city of Nîmes. From here we make our way to the medieval town of Villeneuve Les Avignon which sits across the River Rhône with exceptional views across the Vally to the city of Avignon. It is here that the famous bridge Pont St Bénezet once ended at the Tour Philippe le Bel, a 13th century dungeon tower. A guided walking tour of this beautiful sophisticated little town, a visit to La Chartreuse, a medieval monastery founded by Pope Innocent VI in the 1300's, housing one of the biggest charter houses in France. A harmonious series of open and enclosed garden spaces & architectural styles. One church, three cloisters, 40 monks' cells, gardens & a chapel with 14th century frescoes painted by Matteo Giovannetti. This is also an ideal setting for a light lunch as the town offers a variety of traditional eateries, before heading towards the wine growing region to the north & village of Châteauneuf du Pape, ending the day with a relaxing visit to one of the best vineyards of the region, a wine tasting and a stop at a local artisanal chocolate maker. History, culture, tradition, fine wine and chocolate.
Tour itinerary & highlights
We will arrive to collect you from your hotel or guest house. (If you are staying in a rented apartment or villa, we can arrange that too) We will be at the Cruise Ship terminal in Marseille if arriving by ship. This tour is available from Aix-en-Provence, Marseille or Avignon.
Leave by car arriving first to the Pont du Gard, visit and walking tour to visit the bridge. Drive back towards and stop in Villeneuve Les Avignon, walking tour via Fort St André through the village to La Chartreuse. Leisurely visit to the site, stop for lunch at your leisure before heading north towards the village of Châteauneuf du Pape.
Short stop in the village and a visit to one of the vineyards to learn about the wine and a wine tasting. If possible we include a visit to the cave, but this depends upon the season and availability. On the way back time for some shopping at a local artisanal chocolate maker. At the end of the visit return to Aix-en-Provence & Marseille. (or local drop-off in Avignon)
Language: English or French
Tour duration & schedule
The total duration of the tour is 8 hours, assuming pick-up in Avignon, Aix-en-Provence or Marseille. The order for the tour takes into account the starting point changing depending on your location. There is a scheduled lunch break, at leisure, not included.
Pick-up & drop-off at either the Cruise Terminal in Marseille or your hotel in Avignon, Aix-en-Provence or Marseille. If your staying elsewhere we can coordinate a pick-up from your address. (There may be a suppliment payable) We can also coordinate a collection and drop off at the TGV station (high speed train) in Avignon or Aix.
Travel to all of the destinations proposed with dedicated guide/driver & return to your hotel, address or the cruise terminal. Admission to the sites listed - the Pont du Gard, La Chartreuse, Fort St André and the vineyard visit with wine tasting is included. Refreshments, snacks & lunch not included.
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